Assessing competitiveness of the Baltic states in tourism
Tourism competitiveness is a basic requirement for a country’s presence in the international tourism market. A comprehensive and systematic assessment of tourism competitiveness and comparisons with other states make it possible to identify its structure, strengths and weaknesses. Assessing competitiveness is a live issue in the Baltic region, where tourism is an important part of the economy and a factor in improving living standards. This study advances the hypothesis that the methodology developed by the author will aid in assessing the tourism competitiveness of the Baltic region states. The research aims to assess the competitiveness of the Baltic tourism industries. It reviews methodologies for assessing the competitiveness of tourism industries and presents an original nine-step methodology for comprehensive assessment thereof. The aggregate index comprises four sub-indices (conditions, infrastructure, accessibility, and attractiveness), 22 components, and over 100 indicators. The calculations use a wide range of data sources. The results are displayed in charts and graphs. The Baltic region states are seen to have a high (Germany) or relatively high level of competitiveness. All the countries perform well on tourism infrastructure development and conditions for doing business in tourism. The Baltic reign states rank differently on the affordability of tourism. Germany is the regional leader in terms of attractiveness, followed by the Russian Federation, Poland, Norway, and Sweden. The analysis showed that Russia lagged behind its competitors in travel formalities, the climate for small and medium businesses, and travel safety; infrastructure, statistical monitoring, and promotion required attention as well. In the conclusion, the proposed methodology and the results of its testing are analysed.